Monday, August 29, 2011


I don't normally post things this personal, but I just needed to get this out. Out of my head, and into the universe, where any unsuspecting soul might stumble upon it. It's the sort of thing I'd only do at 10:00 on a Monday night. But I'm going to post it anyway. Bear with me.

I've gotten to a point where I know what I need and I can't just stay passive.

I need confidence and courage to guide me in my life right now.

I need to reach out, to let go, to do so without being so afraid of the consequences.

Being brave is something I struggle with, but it's something I think is oh-so-important.


life is good, but I can't help feeling like something's missing.

I need to find my purpose.

And that's not going to happen just sitting here.

I'm apathetic, but I don't want to be.

I want to be lively and joyful and inspired.

I need to find the missing piece, and in order to do that I need courage. Lots of it.

Courage to take risks. To speak up, to step forward, to try new things.

I know this is a changing time in my life, and I feel a bit overwhelmed.

But it's a journey. And those go one step at a time.

"Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing."

(linking up with Draftless)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I have decided...

...after entirely too many days of this...

Altai mountains, Siberia, Russia
...that I am moving to Siberia.

iceland - 15
Or Iceland.

Heck, maybe just England.

But I am definitely not staying in Texas. No, no, no. 

To help me survive this heat (and the homework that I should be doing doing), I ask a favor. 

It's quite simple really -- just leave some questions for me in the comments

I know, I know: I am not the first person to do this. I've seen on at least five other blogs, but I don't care. It sounds interesting. You may ask me anything (try to be creative!) but do know I'm not going to reply to anything I consider to be inappropriate. I will answer them in a post in a week or so. 

Have fun!


Note: The last two pictures do not belong to me; click them for the sources. :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

fridays, fall, and football.

Well, it's finally Friday. This week crept by so slowly. I can't believe we've only been in school for five days; it seems like ages. And yet, it's still August! This is like the single longest month of the entire year, I swear. IT IS SO LONG.

Fridays make me jump for joy! Technically, I took this yesterday, but that doesn't discredit the fact that I am extremely happy it is the weekend.

Fall. I'm 100% ready for autumn now. I wish it was October, for several reasons, including, but not limited to:

-Halloween. It has pretty much always been my favorite holiday. I love going to pick out a pumpkin, shopping in costume & craft stores, stuffing myself with candy. I even did an entire research paper on Halloween in eighth grade, haha.

-Pottermore. I was out of town during the registration thing -- seriously, they picked the one week I didn't have regular access to a computer. I hate hearing everyone talking about something and knowing I can't take part in it yet. Especially when there are people with access who aren't even big Harry Potter fans and I'm just sitting here humming "I Believe in Nargles". ...Anyway.

-I may do something exciting in October, if plans go accordingly, i.e. how I want them to. Fingers crossed. It's a secret though, because a) it's still tentative, b) I'm evil and c) you don't even care. :)

-Namely, though, I want the cooler weather. I'm so so so tired of this 100 degree weather, and I'm sure everyone else is tired of hearing me (and the rest of the state) complaining about it. But seriously. Is it too much to ask to want to walk four blocks home without sweating? *sigh* Also, rain. I'm just waiting for it to start pouring and not stop for a week. It has to happen some time...right?

Tonight is our school's first football game of the season. Living in Texas, football is kind of a big deal. I mean, I don't even really know what's going on half the time, but it's the tradition and stuff that makes it fun. Winning makes it more fun, though. I don't think we'll win tonight. But. We will see.


My sister's friends invited her to go to their lake house for Labor Day weekend. Why the heck don't my friends have lake houses?!?

Life is so unfair sometimes.


Also, I'm probably not going to be posting as much as I did in the summer now that school's started up again. I'll still be here as long as I'm alive though. So, uh, yeah.

Happy Weekend!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

sophomoric musings

please ignore my pathetic attempts to be clever with the title

So, school started yesterday. The sort of thing that heralds waking up before the sun and staggering up the stairs under the weight of a backpack filled with textbooks. It was kind of scary how much it seemed like just a continuation of last year. Sure, there are different classes and lots of new faces, but I had this overwhelming feeling of deja vu.

Anyway, the first day the seniors had covered the freshman lockers with cutouts of dead fish, which was pretty hilarious. I am glad I'm not a fish anymore. I think sophomore year is a pretty comfortable place to be, actually -- you're not the newbies or at the bottom anymore, but you don't have to worry about college apps or APs or anything yet. That's not to say I think it's going to be easy or anything...Far from it.

We're on a block schedule, so Monday was an A day (odd classes).

Advisory: It's the same group as last year, and the first thing our teacher told was, "Field Day is the day before Thanksgiving break and we need to do better than last year. That's all." Then we were handed a bunch of papers and sat there until some genius suggested we all introduce ourselves. So we went around and said things we did over the summer: "I went to Colorado." "I went to band camp." "I was an accessory to tax fraud." (Someone actually said that. I don't think he was joking.)

1. World History: I have this with a few of my friends, which is good. The teacher said she doesn't believe in pop quizzes, which is a plus, but we got a packet about Marxist theorists or something we're supposed to read and annotate. Which I already did in my newfound pursuits of being a Good Student.

3. Spanish II: The teacher only speaks in Spanish. We are only supposed to speak in Spanish. And I have no friends in this class. *big dramatic sigh* We have a vocab sheet which I'm not entirely sure what to do with, considering the instructions were spoken in a foreign language, and a mini-project due Friday. Yay.

5. Great Ideas: This is a 'required elective' which is an oxymoron if you ask me, but no one did. There are cool people in this class, which is good. It's about, like, humanities and philosophy and I'm not really sure. We're going to write a research paper at the end of it, which I despise doing, but we also get field trips.

Lunch: We have this silly* schedule this year where you go to half of fifth period and then lunch and the return for the rest of it. Basically it means I'm going to be hungry for a while! Lunch is shortened on days with advisory, but actually getting to eat and socialize is nice. I was so relieved when lunch finally came.

7. Drawing III: There is no Drawing II, so III it is! It's pretty much a case of 'everyone is so much better than I am' but I think it'll be alright. It's the same teacher and classroom as last year's Art I, though the latter looks vastly different. Also I'm with my friends which is nice.

Today was a B day (even classes).

2. Chemistry: I like this word. Chemistry. I know a bunch of people in this class, but of course, due to assigned seating, I'm not sitting near any of them. Also the teacher said "This course is extremely math-based", causing me to groan inwardly. I'm already taking a math course, thanks.

4. English: We read and analyzed a poem, which was actually pretty interesting. Then we were given the syllabus -- we're going to be reading lots of stuff, like the Iliad -- and several other papers. In the exact words of my teacher: "I like to give multiple assignments on one day. It amuses me." Apparently we're going to be doing a lot of writing, too. I definitely think it will be challenging but interesting as well.

6. Great Ideas (again -- it's every day but only for one semester): Today we read an excerpt from something of Plato's and it made me want to fall asleep. The end.

8. Pre-Cal: I was so relieved when I saw I had this in the afternoon. I mean, math's not going to be any easier at a certain time of day, but at least this way I have lunch to do my homework study some more. :) I have this with my math teacher from last year, which is nice. This class is a lot bigger than last year's, though.

Now, excuse me while I go attend to the mountain of homework my teachers have already supplied me with! (No, seriously. Today's day in the agenda is already full.)

Is it Friday yet....?


*That is what I say when I want to refrain from saying 'stupid.'

Sunday, August 21, 2011

a fond farewell to summer

Dear Summer,

Today marks the end of your visit, my friend. Your stay was lovely, one of the best, but tomorrow I must return to school. As always, I am saddened to see you leave, but I am left with wonderful memories of our time. Shall I recount some of our adventures?

There were many trips to places like Hawaii (island of chickens, rain, and mud), Washington D.C. (city of escalators, museums, and good food) and to California (land of pools, parks, and shopping). I also went to nearer places, like the ranch. I marked three new states off my list and took a total of 11 airplane flights. I got to see my family on my vacations, and even though they drive me crazy sometimes, it's all fun. Mostly.

There were days of camp -- nature camp (where I was a counselor-in-training) and writing camp (where I was a student/camper). Though I had to wake up earlier, I got to learn, help, and laugh...a lot.

There were quieter, unstructured days that were fun, too. Days spent reading, going to the pool, taking pictures. Lazy days, dog days. The best. Because when else can you stay up until midnight and sleep until ten on a Tuesday?

This summer, I turned fifteen, saw some of my favorite musical artists perform, and watched the final Harry Potter movie (*sob*). All in the same week, coincidentally.

It was a very good summer, in retrospect. Just the right amounts of Excitement and Laziness with a lot of Smiles mixed in. It feels slightly melancholy sitting here, typing away when I know this time tomorrow I'll be meandering the cold hallways of high school once again. At least I know the school this time...but good bye, free time, sleeping in, lazy days. *deep breath*

Good bye, summer...Hello, school. If you also feel bad about going back to school (and are a Harry Potter fan) this. :)

Until next year,


P.S. I'm fiddling with the design a bit, just so you know. Curious -- does anyone know how to make the post title & date central? Like in the middle? :)

Friday, August 19, 2011


My neighbors (not the ones with the chickens) recently got a new kitten. His name is Pickles, which I keep forgetting, but I always remember his nickname: Vicious. Anyway, the bottom line is he's a kitten and thus irrationally adorable. Observe.

All together now: awwww.

I want a kitten. One of my cats has this really weird habit of sitting right under the sink when I'm trying to brush my teeth and likes to throw up around the house, and the other is gone all day and comes in only for food and to shed fur all over the couch. But I'll take what I can get, I suppose. They're not too bad in the scheme of things... ;)

(More coherent/quality posts coming soon! ...I promise.)


Thursday, August 18, 2011

thoughts of the day

These past few days have been fairly productive. I've been to school to pick up my textbooks and get my locker, I've been to the doctor for a check-up, I've written my thank-you notes, I've cleaned the bathroom, I've made pancakes, I've done laundry, and I've practiced my guitar (almost) every day. I've marked a lot off my to-do list, but I've still had time to feel bored and mope about the house.

So, I've been reading a lot lately (what else is new?) and journaling, too. It's easy for me to write about my day and my feelings and anything that catches my fancy, but once I start to think about actually writing something like a story, I get all muddled. I haven't found any ideas I'm really passionate about which makes it hard. I wanted to write a lot this summer, but aside from small things that hasn't really happened. The next big thing is NaNo in November, which seems like far off right now, but it's only a few months. I want to find something I'm really interested in because I want to try to write the whole 50,000 words this time, as opposed to my goal of half that last time. I'll think of something...I always do.

In search of a cool drink to go with all those books, I made lemonade yesterday. I spent more time agonizing over finding the right recipe than actually making it, but that's beside the point. It made me feel like I actually did something, you know? And the lemonade. The lemonade was good.

My parents remind me constantly (or what seems like constantly) about getting exercise. Soccer is going to start up again pretty soon and they're asking me what I'm doing to stay in shape during the summer, when there are no regular practices. "I hear so and so is running three miles a day." "Good for them," is my response, because, really, that's great for them. But I don't really care. My dad is an avid bike rider and my mom teaches Jazzercise, so they're both pretty athletic. But me? I'd rather read than run. Some people like to exercise their bodies; I prefer to exercise my mind. What can I say?

Anyway, the moral of the story is, my dad dragged me to the track last night to go jogging. It was after dark, so it had cooled 97 degrees, that is. *le sigh* We jogged at first and then alternated between sprints and walking as he talked about playing football and the sort of drills they did during practice. It did not make me want to petition the school board to let girls play football any time soon, that's for sure.

Afterwards, my legs were killing me, but I got to try out driving in the parking lot. I was pretty calm, though I still couldn't help gripping the wheel and thinking at one point, "This is how so many people die." But it wasn't scary or anything; I just adjusted the mirrors and shifted from Reverse to Drive and went in tiny circles. That sort of thing. And I didn't kill anyone, which was very noble of me.


After I got home, I showered then had one of these. Because I'd deserved it. Not quite at the real ice cream level, but up there.

So that's life right now. It's pretty lazy overall, but not in a bad way. I'm enjoying the laziness while I can, because I know very shortly my days will be filled to the brim.

Have a great day! (What is it today, Thursday? Already?!)


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

fruits + veggies

From raspberries to tomatoes, summer food really is the best. Marked by plump juicy reds and healthy greens, it's delicious and nutritious. I mean, desserts will always be first in my heart (and stomach), but there's something to be said for fresh fruits and veggies. I just really like food. Got any favorite fruits or veggies?

Also, in a fit of boredom yesterday, I started a Project 52 on Flickr! I'll be uploading one photo a week for a whole year on there, so follow along, why dontcha? Go here to see the set. :) Are doing a 52 or a 365 or anything of that kind?

Have a happy Tuesday!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

return to normal.

listening to: Blow Away by A Fine Frenzy.
just finished reading: Bird by Bird. It's funny because I was reading this on my way home and one of the flight attendants saw and said, "Oh, that's a great book. Anne Lamott lives right next door to me!" So, yeah, small world.
linking up to Acacia's instagram photo challenge
I'm home now, for good. No more airplanes or suitcases or wondering what time it is because you've been in three different time zones in the past two weeks. No more temporary. Home.

It's time to ease back into the patterns of everyday. I have one week before school starts and so much to do. There are things I want to do: go to the movies and practice driving and, you know, blog. And there are things I have to do: clean up my room, write thank you notes, go to the doctor. All the un-fun things that come with being home again. I'm glad to be back, but I didn't really miss those chores. Come to think of it, I didn't miss this heat, either. At all. I am, however, grateful to see my cats, my computer, and to have more wardrobe choices. I was getting just a little tired of those same few shirts.

Speaking of getting home: I arrived to find a certain package, all the way from England, at my door! It brought me these lovelies, which made me smile. Oh, and I've named the little red guy Zip. :)

I'm kind of looking forward to fall, to going back to school and having structured days. Kind of. I'll be glad to see some of my friends again, too, the ones I haven't seen since June. I got my schedule a few weeks ago, and some of my classes sound exciting...and others just sound hard. I don't want to wake up early and I don't want to do homework, but I do want to learn. Sigh. One thing I'm definitely looking forward to, though: cooler weather. Any respite from this heat we've been having all summer long would be welcome. The sad thing is, it'll take a few months for it to actually cool off. Someday (someday!) I will live in a place with four seasons. Where the leaves actually turn colors other than brown and where you can actually wear scarves and boots in October without sweating. Where it actually rains. I kind of don't know why anyone would want to move to Texas. No offense, Texas. Your weather is just pretty awful, that's all. I want a real fall.

That said, I still have plenty of summer left in me, so I'm definitely going to enjoy it!

This afternoon my neighbor came over and we played Just Dance for a while, which is pretty intense, let me tell you. I was tired after that so I broke out the watercolors and did some painting. That was nice and relaxing.

I have lots of photos to share later, but right now I just wanted to get everything out in words first.

Hope you all had a great weekend!


P.S. A teeny note about Instagram: it's on my mom's iPhone so occasionally I'll use it but it's her account with her full name on it, so I can't like, give it out or be friends with you or anything. Hope that makes sense! 

Friday, August 12, 2011

august favorites.

Just some things I love about this last month of summer.

friday favorite things | finding joy

(Linking up to Friday Favorite Things. Click to join in. :)


They are so summery...not to mention delicious. May even be worthy of their own post...

the bluest skies.

unedited, in all its glory.
What would you call that color, the color of the sky? Hmm...

new books.

Forever a favorite. I finished Looking for Alaska a few days ago, and now I'm reading I Am the Messenger. It's by the author of the Book Thief and so far it's interesting. :)


Splash, splash, splash. The pictures say everything.


One of my favorite things here in CA? Lounging on the patio in the late morning. The sun hasn't yet reached the top of the sky, so the temperature is still mild. There's a nice breeze that wafts through the air and it's so relaxing. I like to bring a book out and read, but sometimes I get lost in the sky and just lay there. Bliss.

animal friends. this deer, crossing the road...

...and this dog. Adorable.

driving downtown at golden hour

and just watching as the light hits the trees and makes them glow, watching people ride their bikes with a towel slung over their shoulder, watching dogs pull on their leashes and bound ahead, watching the whole world out my window. The sun lit up the grass into that undeniably green color I love and it illuminated everything. And I didn't have my camera, so for once I was able to just look instead of trying to capture the ever-eluding light in images. I didn't have to worry; I could just watch. It just felt so summery to me.


We went to IHOP yesterday for brunch. It's a once-in-a-while, vacation thing, but I love it.

- - -

I'm going home tomorrow, but for now I'm just going to enjoy it -- all these things, and more. 

Have a happy Friday!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

and now, the west coast.

So, it took me like twenty minutes to find the photos I uploaded on this computer. This is why I do not have a Mac.


I've been in California since Monday, in probably one of the only parts that is actually almost as hot and dead-looking as Texas. I feel right at home...

Yesterday we went shopping. I was looking for some shorts, but all they had were jeans. That seems really strange to me because I don't think about wearing jeans until about, oh, October. Anyway, I got a shirt and a skirt and afterwards I got some books, too. That's two I'll soon check off my growing list of books to read.

I am having too much fun with this lens. I didn't bring it to D.C. because I wanted a zoom and I couldn't pack both, but now I am reunited with my 50mm and I couldn't be happier.

TV remote. I like this picture, but it also got me thinking. Every time I turn on the news, there's something terrible happening. From things like the London riots to local kidnappings or natural disasters. It's all so depressing that frankly, I don't want to pick up a newspaper anymore. I'm torn between these feelings of "bad things are happening, I should feel sad/guilty/bad and spread awareness or do something to help" and "bad things happen every day, but I'm not going to dwell on them; I'm going to focus on the happy things instead." Bottom line is, I think, there's a middle ground. Do try to help if you can and keep them in your thoughts and stay informed, but don't feel guilty about being happy and living your life. I've seen some posts that say things like, "reblog this if you have a heart" with pictures of burning buildings in London, and I hate that. Like, if you don't acknowledge disasters on your blog, you're a terrible human. Because bad things happen every day, but my blog is a platform for sharing the happy things in my life, the funny things, the interesting things. Just because I don't talk about these events doesn't mean I don't think they're awful, or that I'm not thinking/praying/worrying about them.

I just had to get that out. Onward to sunnier things!

We went swimming, too. It's pretty hot out, but there's nothing like a dip in the pool to cool off. Especially a pool with a nice view and a glass of iced lemonade on the side. Ahh...just right.

Well, this is life on the West Coast. It's not nearly as busy as the East Coast, but a slow-moving pace is just what I need right now. Soaking up these last days of summer. On that note, I think I'm going to go read...

Have a great day!


Monday, August 08, 2011

the final installment (d.c. part iii).

...Of my epic adventures in Washington D.C. That sounds like it's from some fantasy trilogy...Anyway.

day six.

Ate breakfast at Starbucks in Alexandria, where everything is ancient. Then we wandered over to the piers to wait for our boat to Mount Vernon.

The ride was about an hour and a half long, and I may or may not have fallen asleep both ways... Anyway! Once we got there, we got to see the remains of George Washington.

And some cows.

We got a tour of the house, which was really interesting, though no pictures were allowed inside, surprise surprise. They also had this museum about George Washington that was kinda cool. We watched this movie that had all these special effects like 'snow' that floated down from the ceiling during the part about crossing the Delaware. I still don't know what it was. XD

We took the boat back and then had ice cream. Right before dinner. I love vacation. Then we took the metro back to the hotel... Funny story about that. We were waiting for it to come, and when it pulled up, my dad jumped on and was ushering everyone on. My grandpa, two cousins and I made it but everyone else was left behind. No sooner had we sat down then we realized...we were on the wrong one. Everything worked out fine, but it was kind of hilarious and after that I stopped trusting my dad when he told us where to go. :P

day seven.

Friday, the last full day, we went to Georgetown, my dad's alma mater. It looks like a castle.

After walking around there for a bit, we went to the American History Museum. By this point I'd stopped counting how many museums we'd been was a lot. But I saw Dorothy's Ruby Red Slippers! :D

And then we went to the Lincoln Memorial, where there were a lot of people.

And the Washington Memorial. To the the very tippity top.

the view from the top. the White House!
Jump, I told her. Jump again! One more time! I am such a good cousin.
I think this marks the conclusion of my trip. I had a great time and it went by so quickly. I'll probably share some leftover pictures later, because there are a lot, but right now it's time to go.

Oh yeah -- by the time you read this, I will be in California. Happy Monday! Talk to you soon.